Social Media Policy

Employers have the right to prescribe standards of communication for social media platforms as it relates to their business, whether directly or indirectly. With the growing use of social media to enhance an employer’s products, services and/or brand recognition, employers need to ensure they have a policy that provides strict guidelines on the way in which employees and contractors are allowed to engage in social media whether authorised to do so or not.

Examples of social media include blogs, discussion forums and boards, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, You Tube, and any other medium which allows a user to upload electronic communication and content

Dismissed for attempts to access manager’s email – Fair Work Australia has determined that the dismissal of an IT specialist was not harsh or unjust. On the balance of probabilities, the evidence indicated that he had misused the employer’s computer system. His actions had amounted to serious misconduct. [Full text of this case: M v Alfred Health [2012] FWA 5390 (20 July 2012)]

Unethical use of computer – The employment of an information systems specialist working for a public health organisation was summarily terminated on 23 June 2011, when his employer alleged he had breached the integrity of its information technology system by accessing the email account of his manager without authorisation on 13 June 2011. He was also said to have participated in an online written conversation with another employee, which had contained lewd and offensive remarks about a female employee and a manager.

The employee denied the alleged behaviour and lodged an application for relief for unfair dismissal according to s394 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

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